Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LIE, by WALTER RALEIGH



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

Rhyming Dictionary Search
THE LIE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Go, soul, the body's guest
Last Line: No stab the soule can kill.
Alternate Author Name(s): Ralegh, Walter
Variant Title(s): The Soul's Errand;the Lye
Subject(s): Courage; Freedom; Lies; Social Protest; Soul; Truth; Valor; Bravery; Liberty


Go, soul, the body's guest,
Upon a thankless errand;
Fear not to touch the best;
The truth shall be thy warrant:
Go, since I needs must die,
And give the world the lie.


Say to the court it glows
And shines like rotten wood,
Say to the church it shows
What's good, and doth no good:
If church and court reply,

Then give them both the lie.

Tell potentates, they live
Acting, by others' action;
Not lov'd unless they give;
Not strong, but by affection.

If potentates reply,
Give potentates the lie.

Tell men of high condition,
That manage the estate,
Their purpose is ambition;

Their practice only hate.
And if they once reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell them that brave it most,
They beg for more by spending,

Who in their greatest cost
Like nothing but commending.
And if they make reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell zeal it wants devotion;

Tell love it is but lust;
Tell time it meets but motion;
Tell flesh it is but dust:
And wish them not reply,
For thou must give the lie.


Tell age it daily wasteth;
Tell honour how it alters;
Tell beauty how she blasteth;
Tell favour how it falters:
And as they shall reply,
Give every one the lie.


Tell wit how much it wrangles
In fickle points of niceness;
Tell wisdom she entangles
Herself in over-wiseness:
And when they do reply,

Straight give them both the lie.

Tell physic of her boldness;
Tell skill it is prevention;
Tell charity of coldness;
Tell law it is contention:

And as they do reply,
So give them still the lie.

Tell fortune of her blindness;
Tell nature of decay;
Tell friendship of unkindness;

Tell justice of delay:
And if they will reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell arts they have no soundness,
But vary by esteeming;

Tell schools they want profoundness,
And stand too much on seeming.
If arts and schools reply,
Give arts and schools the lie.

Tell faith it's fled the city;
Tell how the country erreth;
Tell manhood, shakes off pity;
Tell virtue, least preferred.
And if they do reply,
Spare not to give the lie.

So when thou hast, as I
Commanded thee, done blabbing;
Because to give the lie
Deserves no less than stabbing:
Stab at thee, he that will,
No stab thy soul can kill!





Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net